Sen. Joseph Griffo presents New York State Senate Liberty Medal to OIN Police Officer Andrew Costello

Sen. Joseph Griffo presents a New York State Senate Liberty Medal to OIN Police Officer Andrew Costello

New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-C-Rome, today presented a New York State Senate Liberty Medal to Oneida Indian Nation Police Officer Andrew Costello in recognition of his heroic efforts to rescue a man who had fallen through the ice while fishing.

The Liberty Medal is one of the highest civilian honors a New Yorker can receive. The award is given to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.

On Feb. 4, Officer Costello, who lives in Bridgeport and has been a member of the Nation’s police department for six years, saw his neighbor had fallen through the ice while fishing on Oneida Lake and was in distress, according to the Oneida Indian Nation.

Without hesitation, Officer Costello, who was off duty, called 911 and then, relying on his police training, grabbed a ladder and immediately headed onto the ice to help. Using the ladder, Officer Costello was able to safely pull the fisherman from the ice and assisted him to shore, where they were met by Nation Police Officer Michael Grajko, members of the Bridgeport Fire Department and other law enforcement agencies.

EMTs on scene reported that the fisherman’s safety float suit was severely waterlogged and if Costello did not act as quickly as he did, the fisherman would not have survived.

“Officer Costello is very deserving of this honor,” Sen. Griffo said. “Through his actions that fateful February day, Officer Costello demonstrated his true character and a genuine compassion for the well-being of others. Without hesitation and drawing upon his law enforcement training, he rushed to help his neighbor. His courageous efforts likely saved the man’s life.”